Regardless of the underlying reasons, divorce is an emotionally difficult time. A good divorce attorney is not only an aggressive legal advocate in court and in negotiations, but he or she is also a good listener and a caring guide throughout the divorce process.
At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, we help our clients determine what they value most so that we can work together in a cost-effective manner to reach their most important goals in property division, spousal support, and legal decision-making (child custody).
Our divorce attorneys treat every client with care and fairness, quickly and capably setting them on a path toward resolving their legal issue so that they can move ahead with their life after divorce.
We've provided FAQs on Arizona Divorce to assist people considering divorce. We invite you to review the information we've provided and then contact one of our Arizona divorce attorneys to schedule an appointment.
Starting a Divorce Case in Arizona
Either the husband or wife must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days, or have been a member of the armed forces stationed in Arizona for at least 90 days. There is a 60-day waiting period after service of the petition for dissolution before a divorce can be finalized.
The time it will take to complete your divorce will depend upon the speed with which you can reach agreement on financial and legal decision-making (child custody) issues and, of course, upon the court's schedule.
Do I Need to Prove Fault?
No. As a general rule, Arizona does not require that someone be "at fault," only that the couple decides they cannot and do not want to be married any longer. This is not the case with covenant marriage, however. For such marriages, the court can grant a divorce only in cases of adultery, abandonment, physical abuse, or regular substance abuse, or if both spouses agree that the marriage should end.
How Will We Divide Property?
In general, property and assets owned by a person before marriage remain that person's "sole and separate property." Items a person received by gift or inheritance during the marriage are also separate property. But you must be able to prove your claim of separate property or the court can consider the item "community property" and it will be divided between you and your former partner.
All property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property. This includes not just land and buildings, but also money, jewelry, home furnishings, cars, boats, stock options, retirement plans, and the earnings of each spouse. The court divides community property in an equitable, though not necessarily equal, way.
What Can We Decide for Ourselves?
At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, we encourage our clients to resolve as many issues outside of court as possible. This is more cost-effective for our clients, and they are more likely to be satisfied with the outcomes they have negotiated themselves.
We assist our clients in negotiating or mediating "separation agreements" (contracts describing the spouses' decisions about ownership of real estate, property division, and financial support).
The couple can also reach an agreement on legal decision-making (child custody) and parenting time, but the court is not legally bound to accept that agreement if it believes it is not in the best interest of the child.
Court services are available in several counties to assist in reaching agreements about matters such as parenting time and legal decision-making rights to the children.
Our Queen Creek and Gilbert divorce attorneys have years of experience with helping people find satisfactory resolutions in divorce court. Allow us to help you through this difficult time. Contact Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, to schedule an appointment with: